Dubai: The Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research, has partnered with a group of professional runners, 7 Emirates Run, dedicated to helping children get back on their feet.

This charitable initiative from the 7 Emirates Run group is sponsored by Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), an internationally recognised centre of healthcare excellence and a leader in medical education.

The 7 Emirates Run team is made up of seven experienced ultra-marathon runners based in the UAE, led by German Guinness World Record holder, Wendelin. They will cover 575 kilometres across all seven Emirates in just 12 days, culminating on December 2, the 42nd National Day of the UAE. The money raised will be used to pay for life-changing surgery and post-operative medical support for Mohammad Ayoub, an 18-month old boy from Sharjah, who suffers from deformities to both legs.

Marwan Abedin, CEO of Dubai Healthcare City, said that the “DHCC is committed to Dubai’s vision of delivering quality health and wellbeing to our society. We are proud of Wendelin Lauxen who is a shining example of the DHCC community in his tireless efforts to raise awareness for a healthy lifestyle. In our commitment to excellence in healthcare, we at DHCC continue to support our business partners in their endeavours.”

Lauxen and his six fellow runners will start running on November 21. Wendelin said, “I set up 7 Emirates Run to embrace a mission of running for help, health and fun. I strongly believe that this ethos will help create a healthier UAE community — getting people on their feet helps prevent obesity and its consequential diseases such as vascular diseases and diabetes, illnesses blighting our country. We are helping children get back on their feet by supporting the Al Jalila Foundation and to pay for life-changing surgery and post-operative medical support for a little boy who will soon be able to crawl and then walk.

“This initiative further demonstrates our long-standing commitment to the UAE. I tackled this 575 kilometre ultra-marathon successfully before in 2010 and I now look forward to being joined by six other like-minded and loyal friends of the UAE. I hope our love of combining and nurturing health, fun and philanthropy will lead to 77 runners in the 2014 edition of the 7 Emirates Run!”

Dr Abdul Kareem Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, added, “We are delighted that 7 Emirates Run have chosen Al Jalila Foundation as its beneficiary. We see Mohammad’s operation as marking a key milestone in Dubai’s efforts to be at the forefront of medical innovation.

“Not only is the run demonstrating extraordinary feats of fitness and determination, but will also change this little boy’s life forever. I am continuously uplifted by these great efforts from people in our community and thank the 7 Emirates Run team for their compassion, generosity and tenacity.”